The University of Minnesota library system has been maintaining electronic dissertations since in their Digital Conservancy website. These digital archives represent an excellent opportunity for data mining.
Unfortunately, the code will not work unless you are signed in to the University of Minnesota library system. Obviously, this sample is not representative of all institutions or time periods, so extrapolation may be unwise. The code returns a list with two elements for each author. This raw HTML is then further parsed using some of the base functions in R, such as grep and strsplit.
The tricky part is to find the permanent URL for each student that contains the relevant information. The loop stops once all records are imported. The important part is to identify the format of each URL so the code knows where to look and where to re-initiate each search. For example, each author has a permanent URL that has the basic form http: The permanent URL for each student is then accessed and parsed. The important piece of information for each student takes the following form:.
University of Minnesota Ph. This chunk of text is then saved to the output object for additional parsing. After the online data were obtained, the following code was used to identify page length, major, month of completion, year of completion, and advisor for each character string for each student.
The section of the code that begins with get data using function takes the online data stored as dat on my machine and applies the function to identify the relevant information. The resulting text is converted to a data frame and some minor reworkings are applied to convert some vectors to numeric or factor values. Now the data are analyzed using the check. The data contained 2, records for students that completed their dissertations since The range was incredibly variable minimum of 21 pages, maximum of , but most dissertations were around to pages.
Interestingly, a lot of students graduated in August just prior to the fall semester. As expected, spikes in defense dates were also observed in December and May at the ends of the fall and spring semesters.
The top four majors with the most dissertations on record were in descending order educational policy and administration, electrical engineering, educational psychology, and psychology. Not many differences are observed among the majors, although some exceptions are apparent.
Economics, mathematics, and biostatistics had the lowest median page lengths, whereas anthropology, history, and political science had the highest median page lengths. This distinction makes sense given the nature of the disciplines. The maximum number of students that completed their dissertations for a single advisor since was eight.
For those interested, the below code was used to create the plots. How long is the average dissertation? I should trim some of that. Mine is not pages well there are of those at the moment but a webpage in Danish just to scare people off — smaller parts in English. And as far as I can see I have crossed 1TB now. Any idea if that is just ordinary or somekind of extreme?
Hm, hard to say for the page length vs web page comparison since data storage is not comparable to text length. How long is an average PhD thesis? And the countdown begins Snapshot Serengeti. This is great, thanks! Looks like I reflect your data perfectly. No complaints on being average here! Learning to Write a Thesis: Average dissertation and thesis length, take two — R is my friend. I hope that you will keep it up and we will have more informative and helping news from you.
How long is the average dissertation Thesis Info. How long is your PhD dissertation long enough? Reblogged this on erenokur. Have dissertations outlived their usefulness in science? Our customers also know they can contact us any time of the day or night, with any complexity and length dissertations. Get help only through certified and highly experienced writers, especially when you need to write such an important paper.
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